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The Thirst for Spirituality and the Rise of Witches

Art by Jennifer Davis

Julie Peters explains why witchcraft appeals to so many people—and how witches can borrow respectfully from other traditions.

I am a witch. Well, sort of. I like to follow the moons and cast spells, little intuitive rituals where I write down my wishes and burn them over candle flames. I’m not really following any particular tradition. When I was a little girl, I’d go to church with my family on Sundays. We’d listen to stories about Jesus and sing badly with the choir. Sometimes I found myself filled with a sense of the numinous, a delicious feeling that some divinity was there with us in the room. But the doctrine of the Christian church didn’t really make sense to me. The myths of this religion didn’t have many women in them—poor Mary had to hold it down as a rare representation of feminine devotion, and she was an impossible virgin. Mary Magdalene was rarely mentioned in the church services because she was the opposite of Mary, a shameful whore. I moved farther from the church as I grew older and learned what people had done in the name of Jesus. Scores of people have been murdered for believing in something else. Children have been secretly abused by priests for generations while church authorities cove …

About the Author

Julie Peters

Julie Peters is a staff writer for Spirituality & Health. She is also a yoga teacher (E-RYT 500, YACEP) and co-owner of Ocean and Crow Yoga studio in Vancouver, BC, with her mom, Jane. She is the author of Secrets of the Eternal Moon Phase Goddesses: Meditations on Desire, Relationships, and the Art of Being Broken (SkyLight Paths 2016) and WANT: 8 Steps to Recovering Desire, Passion, and Pleasure After Sexual Assault (Mango Media 2019). Learn more at Follow her at @juliejcp.

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